United States Assistant Secretary of Education Visits Napa New Technology High School

Napa New Tech students showed their school to some high-level education officials from Washington, D.C. Monday.

Deborah Delisle, United States Assistant Secretary of Education and other USDOE officials took a student-guided tour of in Napa Monday, according to a news release from the school.

"We are here to see the meaningful use of technology in education and to learn about the shift from traditional teacher roles to teacher as coach,” Delisle said in a statement provided by New Tech.

The news release continues,

The tour highlighted project-based learning, a teaching methodology that addresses the deeper learning skills of critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity, and prepares students for college readiness and meaningful careers. 

The group was also introduced to Echo, the leaning management system used by New Tech students, parent and teachers. Principal Michele Spencer pointed out that the tool was web-based for anytime digital learning and also helped create and maintain the collaborative culture at the school. 

“Echo helps foster communication through technology while building a culture of collaboration,” said Spencer.

Spencer also highlighted the unique Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy that New Tech has implemented in this 1:1 computer environment. Additionally, a student panel presented on the distinctive culture of trust, respect and responsibility that makes this environment business-like in atmosphere.

Other attendees included Steve Robinson, Special Assistant on Domestic Policy and Napa Valley Unified School District Superintendent Patrick Sweeney.

Sweeney commented on his plans for district-wide transformation.

“It is particularly important to take this type of innovation throughout the district. Every student should have the opportunity to thrive in the 21st century,” said Sweeney.

First introduced in Napa in 1996, the New Tech model has proven successful across diverse student populations in urban, rural, and suburban public high schools. New Tech is emerging as one of the fastest-growing approaches to transforming high school education in the U.S. For a full list of New Tech schools, visit our website at:


Founded in Napa in 1996 on the former Lincoln School site between Yajome and Main streets, New Tech was the first in what has grown to 120 similar high school programs across the country that use group project-based learning and technology to prepare students for jobs requiring teamwork, communication and technical skills.

Earlier this year, the school was on the state's standardized algebra tests from the year before. However, the latest test scores show New Tech sophomores outperforming the state average in math, according to the New Tech Network website.

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